Pagosa Weather February 2021; Snowpack & drought update / precip summary & March outlook

Pagosa Weather colored summary of current snowpack across weatern United States.

Sunday – 28 Feb 2021 – 3:30pm

Pagosa Weather Snowpack and drought update

As of 28 February, snowpack across Colorado is around 85%.  In our nearby basins, it’s 80%. (I’d prefer to use the map focused on Colorado, but it has not been updated in a couple of days.)

The snotel data for our specific area is a bit more encouraging.  The Upper San Juan is at 89% and the Wolf Creek Summit is at 106% for this date.  If no more snow fell, Wolf Creek Summit would finish with 73% of their seasonal snow and the Upper San Juan would finish with 71%.  Thankfully I don’t think that will happen!

28 Feb 2021 pm Snowpack table
Snotel data for our nearby basins on 28 Feb 2021

This week’s drought map indicates that Archuleta County ranges from “severe drought” along the eastern part of the county to “exceptional drought” towards Arboles.  We must get above average precip to see an improvement.

28 Feb 2021 pm CO drought map
Colorado drought map for 23 Feb 2021

Pagosa Weather February 2021 precip summary…

Percent of average precip – Much of Archuleta County was in the 75-100% range though the southwest part of the county didn’t fare as well with 50-75% of average.

28 Feb 2021 pm Feb percent of average precip
Percent of average precip for Feb 2021

Our CoCoRaHS observers ranged from 1.33” in Loma Linda south of Echo Canyon Reservoir to 2.0” for us here at Pagosa Weather just north of Turkey Springs. The average February precip is 1.42”.

CoCoRaHS observed snowfall for February ranged from to 16.2” near town to 24.6” for us here at Pagosa Weather just north of Turkey Springs.  The average snowfall for February is 18.9”.

Wolf Creek started the month with 238″ YTD and reported 285″ YTD today to total 47″. That’s roughly 70% of their February average of 66.4″.

Pagosa Weather March outlook…

The official March outlooks indicate a chance for above average temps and a chance for below average precip.

28 Feb 2021 pm Mar temp outlook
28 Feb 2021 pm Mar precip outlook

The Euro ensemble 15 day outlook shows a more active pattern starting around the 10th.  The GFS indicates a similar pattern.

28 Feb 2021 pm Euro 15 day precip 6
Euro 15 day ensemble precip forecast for Pagosa

My not-to-be-trusted outlook for March is below average precip the first week, average to slightly above average the middle of the month, and below average the last week.

My next forecast post will be tomorrow morning.

– Shawn

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I’ve been a “weather geek” since I was young child. I joined the military out of high school and was lucky to get my dream job in weather. I have 20 years of military weather experience which includes forecasting the weather all over the world. Highlights were six years in Alaska and making life and death weather decisions during deployments. I love mountains, I love snow, and I love summertime thunderstorms. I spend a bunch of time playing outdoors and found my paradise in Pagosa Springs. I do Pagosa Weather as a community service. Hopefully you find us helpful!
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